According to an article posted on Huffpost, we should be changing our duvets roughly every five years. Yet despite this, the average Brit keeps their duvet for a couple of years longer than they should.

With a whole host of considerations that you have to take into when purchasing a new duvet, for instance the filling or tog rating, this can make buying the right duvet quite a challenge!

There are two duvet filling types in particular that have caused quite a bit of deliberation in the bedding world: feather and down.

Although you may not really think that the filling of a duvet should be something to dwell too much time, which we don’t think you should have to either, it is important that you understand the difference between feather and down for the primary reason that one could actually help you to sleep better than another!

At Sleepy People, we strive to ensure that everyone’s needs are catered for, no matter your sleeping preference and understand the importance of educating our product range to help ensure that our clients are getting the best night’s sleep possible.

So let’s now get down to the nitty-gritty business of looking at how feather and down duvets differ, and how they may impact your sleep.


Probably the biggest difference between down and feather is due to which part of the goose or duck that they are found.

The feathers on geese and ducks cover the outside of the bird. These feathers are very soft and have a spine going down the centre, also known as a quill, and have the purpose of helping the birds to fly, as well as to keep them warm and dry

Furthermore feathers are heavier and larger than down due to the central quill and hair-like strands that radiate from the quill being thicker.

The shape of the feathers are generally longer and more flat, which is why you need more of them to provide the same amount of insulation as down.


Unlike feathers which are found on the top surface of the goose or duck, down clusters are the fluffy feathers that are found underneath the exterior of the outside feathers and are often found on the belly of a bird.

Down clusters can be best pictured as a dandelion head with a round centre known as a plumule rather than a quill, and which makes it a softer and lighter feather in comparison to feather.

Another feature of down clusters is that because the cluster strands have a natural spring back and do not lie down in the same way as feathers do, down is more insulated and can trap the air more easily.

The more clusters you used to fill the pillow, the firmer and more insulated they become.

So now that the key difference between feather and down have been established, you’ll probably be wanting to know the pros and cons to each and why could help you sleep over the other!

Feather: The Pro’s

One of the biggest advantages of a feather duvet is that because feathers are generally heavier than down, they are perhaps more supportive which is obviously an important consideration to make when you’re looking to choose either a feather or down duvet.

Another huge benefit to feather filled duvets is that they will keep you warm, but without you feeling too uncomfortably hot. This also means that your feather duvet is a great choice of duvet all year round.

Obviously this will depend on what type of tog rating your duvet has, but in terms of feather as a filling, this will help to regulate your body at a comfortable temperature to help ensure that you are getting the recommended amount of sleep you require.

Feather: The Con’s

Probably the biggest downside to feather duvets is that because they have the quill which runs up the middle of the feather, these can sometimes poke through the duvet and be quite uncomfortable.

If you have slept using a feather duvet or pillow then you’ll know what we mean! The bigger the feathers used in the duvet the higher the likelihood of the of the quills poking though.

Another downside to feather duvets is that the feather’s can also escape the pillows which down clusters can’t do so easily, and the more feathers you are loosing the less supportive the duvet will become.

Down: The Pro’s

If you’re looking for a duvet that will keep you snuggly and warm, then a down filled duvet has the advantage that it is probably the warmer option to go for! This is mainly due to the fact that the down clusters trap and insulate the air more easily as opposed to feather.

Another benefit to down, especially if the clusters are bigger is that the duvet will be longer lasting and more durable which is important to consider as your duvet will tend to last about five years.

Down: The Con’s

Although down duvets tend to last longer than feather, one of the disadvantages of this is that it can mean that down duvets are more expensive.

Another downside is that more people are perhaps allergic to down than they are feather. Therefore when making your decision about choosing between down and feather, you’ll have to consider whether this could cause a disturbance to anyone who tends to duffer from allergies.

When it comes down to choosing between feather and down, the choice really is yours and what your preferences for sleeping are. Both are great options which are comfortable and have the benefit of keeping you warm in bed but without over-heating!

The nature of down is that it can trap the air more easily making it more insulating and a lighter option in terms of duvets, yet if you would prefer a duvet that is more supportive and perhaps heavier then feather is the way to go!

Picking the right duvet for you is an important part of making sure that you are as comfortable as possible in bed, therefore don’t forget that you can check out our full range of duvets.